The Buggy Whip shuttles diners back in history to an era when meat and potatoes ruled the roost at dinnertime. Open since 1958, the family-owned steak house brims with more vintage ambiance than the century-old wine corks that form the Statue of Liberty. Customers’ knives liberate savory juices from rib eyes as forks dive into dishes of sizzling scampi and herbed scallops. At lunch, diners can savor hearty broiled sirloins stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and peppers or lighter plates flanked with cottage cheese and tomatoes. In addition to serving steaks, seafood, and potables in the dining room seven days a week, the restaurant accommodates groups by building banquet spreads from fare such as prime rib, teriyaki chicken, and sweet, creamy cheesecake.
"Ornate" and "sweeping" only begin to describe the Crest Theatre, whose rich history extends back to 1912, when it was opened as a vaudeville house. Within its gargantuan auditorium, plush seats perch in subtly curved rows while elaborate lights and a sea-blue ceiling wash the space in ethereal hues. Moviegoers settle into the elegant confines to take in both new and classic films, reading the subtitles in a whisper to stuffed animals that forgot their glasses. Out in the lobby, a richly patterned carpet and bronzed floral motif cover the sprawling space as visitors belly up to the bar and snack on high-quality goodies.
If Blue Cue doesn't look like a typical pool hall, that's because it isn't. The billiards spot doubles as a restaurant, and nearly everything about it?from the bright blue pool tables to the sleek couches propped against exposed-brick walls?contributes to an atmosphere that's classy and upscale without being pretentious. That atmosphere carries over to a menu of comfort foods headlined by charbroiled burgers, hot dogs, and New York-style pizzas. Pair any of the above with a drink from the bar, such as a draft of seasonal Sierra Nevada or signature blue island punch.
With past performers such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Miller, and Dana Carvey, Laughs Unlimited has accumulated a formidable collection of laughs in its near 30-year history. Owner and booker Steve Grove keeps the comedy lineup fresh with imported mountain air and a steady rotation of established and up-and-coming comedians. Warm brick walls and exposed-beam ceilings line the recently renovated club. Laughs Unlimited?s full menu furnishes empty bellies with Mexican-inspired tacos, burritos, and snacks, which go down smooth with several Californian wines and an arsenal of signature cocktails.
The comedians at Sacramento Comedy Spot, named one of the best places to take a date by Sacramento News & Review readers in 2008, split sides with weekly lineups of improv, sketch-comedy, and standup routines. The club’s various comedy shows transform snacks into projectile objects as guests wet their whistles with beer, and munch on popcorn and candy. Those wanting to try their hands at the laugh-luring profession can participate in an open mic, or enroll in one of the Spot's improv, standup, or sketch classes.
The sushi chefs at Azukar Sushi slice and roll more than 65 varieties of sushi and sashimi to order. Dishes such as tataki tuna and seared salmon carpaccio top sleek white tables at the new West El Camino Avenue location, which surrounds diners with plum-colored walls. Chopsticks can also pluck up pieces of nigiri sushi, such as octopus and fried tofu skin, or tap out bell carols on the sushi bar’s cylindrical hanging lamps. Specialty rolls such as the honey-walnut roll with shrimp tempura arrive artfully arranged on white-porcelain plates.